South Korea vs. Japan takes place Thursday in the bronze medal soccer match in the men's Olympic football tournament at London 2012. Kick off is at 2.45 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream (details below).
The bronze medal match may seem like an anti-climax; firstly for both these sides who just days before were hoping to be in with a shout for the gold medal, but also secondly for soccer fans who were treated to a thrilling finale in the women's tournament on Thursday, where Team USA defeated Japan 2-1 to claim revenge for their World Cup defeat last year.
However, the passion of the players going into this match should not be underestimated. A win or lose in this game does determine who will be going home with a prestigious Olympic medal and who will be going home empty handed. Also given the fierce rivalry between these two Asian neighbors on a wider scale, it is unthinkable that either side will be satisfied at giving anything up to their adversaries.
For one of the teams they will go down in Olympic record books as the third place team, and medal winners. Where as the other side will be left to take on the role of the quickly forgotten fourth place team.
Japan got off to a fantastic start to their Olympic soccer campaign, and have entertained fans throughout. Manager Takashi Sekizuka has built a highly efficient and disciplined team that sides have found difficult to break down. That solid style led to Japan coming through their group stage undefeated. They have already proven they can mix it with the best when they took on World and European champions Spain in the group stages, and it has been their fortress of a defense that has stifled opposition sides the most.
It was only a brilliant and inspired display by Mexico that kept Japan from the final, and if they can pick themselves up for this game, given their form in the tournament thus far, Japan will be favorites for this match.
South Korea, though, are another side built on discipline and efficiency. However, in recent games they have lacked a cutting edge. They were fortunate to come through the quarter finals and relied on the lottery of penalty kicks to knock out Great Britain, and were comprehensively beaten by Brazil in the semi finals.
If Korea are to steal the bronze away from Japan they will need a few players to step up and give their best performances of the tournament to date. South Korea vs. Japan in the men's soccer bronze medal match at the London 2012 Olympics kicks off at 2.45 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream by clicking here.